You know a defendant is desperate when his best defense is to eagerly claim he is a steroid dealer.
Competitive bodybuilder Tevita Sitanilei Kulu is a defendant currently on trial for methamphetamine and cocaine trafficking at the High Court in Auckland, New Zealand. Kulu has denied the charges.
Kulu insisted that prosecutors got it all wrong. He admitted that he is a drug dealer but maintained that he only dealt with muscle-building drugs.
Steve Bonnar QC, the defense attorney representing Kulu, told the High Court that his client was a champion bodybuilder who sold only anabolic steroids and “bodybuilding substances”.
One-hit wonder musician testified that he bought steroids from Kulu.
A celebrity musician testified on behalf of Kulu. The unnamed musician made it big with a one-hit wonder that topped the charts several years ago.
The musician told the court that he became a “fanboy” of Kulu after seeing pictures of his muscular physique on Instagram. He asked Kulu for advice and eventually asked to buy anabolic steroids.
Kulu created a stack with three different compounds for the musician. The cost for the stack was approximately $200 every two to three weeks. The musician testified that he probably paid Kulu a total of $3500 for steroids.
Kulu, who had previously lived in California, moved to New Zealand in 2017. He allegedly used his California connections to set an a large-scale, organized and sophisticated methamphetamine and importation and trafficking ring.
Kulu was accused of conspiring with two other individuals – Tevita Matangi Fangupo and Toni Rajendra Finau.
The trio allegedly set up a network that moved large quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine from the United States into New Zealand. NZ Customs reportedly seized at least seven such packages arriving via the mail.
The three men were not involved in street level drug sales. Instead, they were involved in wholesale distribution to local dealers and multiple gangs. They reportedly sold bulk quantities of meth at a price of $160,000 per kilogram.
All three men have pleaded not guilty. However, prosecutors are confident in the evidence they have against the co-conspirators. Police investigators reportedly cracked into the defendants’ mobile devices. They also surveilled phone conversations in which drug transactions were discussed.
Kulu can only hope that he is lucky enough to convince a court that he is only a steroid dealer. But his chances don’t look good.
Gay, E. (May 15, 2016). Musician says he bought steroids from man accused of meth importation. Retrieved from stuff.co.nz/national/crime/112747733/musician-says-he-bought-steroids-from-man-accused-of-meth-importation